By the way, in case you didn't realize it, John "Traitorous Lout" Kerry, the haughty French looking democratic candidate who lost the 2004 presidential election, and by the way served in Vietnam, was quick to point out how important ANWR is for the nation.
What is at stake today is not just the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is our democracy.
Sadly though, he doesn't quite understand that democracy is about ensuring the interests of "the people" represented. Rather, he would like to impose a system for judicial nominees as well as deciding where to secure resources for future energy needs, that ensures a small and elite minority of the people have all the control.
Now, getting back to my promised post on Gun's Germs and Steel, Professor Diamond spends some time examining exactly how some regions have given rise to more dictators (and hence more kleptocracts) than others.
He points to 4 techniques, a mixture of which, have always been utilized by successful dictators, kleptocrats, and other elites to maintain control and power and a more comfortable lifestyle over the majority of commoners.
- Disarm the populace and arm the elite
- Make the mass happy by redistributing much of the tribute received (but ensuring that it ultimately further upholds your grasp on power)
- Use the monopoly of force to promote happiness
- Construct an ideology or religion justifying kleptocracy
Sounds just like John Kerry's proposed recipe for long term democratic success to ensure his band of elitist comrades can continue to live in their mansions, drive their limousines, and dictate what makes the little people happy.